MMSD return to in-person learning draws mixed reactions

Amid vaccine delays and the spread of new COVID-19 variants, parents and teachers have mixed reactions to the announcement that Madison Metropolitan School District will resume in-person instruction for grades 4k-2 starting this week. Our Courtney Degen spoke with several parents and teachers for their reactions, and heard many concerns on the complex issue.

Madison Commons Media Digest, March 7, 2021


A year after COVID-19 transformed life in Wisconsin, pandemic toll widespread, David Wahlberg, Wisconsin State Journal, March 7. Dane County reports 80 new cases; daily case rates rise slightly, Stephanie Díaz de Léon, Madison365, March 6; New Wisconsin cases, reported deaths down sharply; positive test rate steady at 2.3%, Robert Chappell, Madison365, March 5. Dane County COVID-19 vaccination clinic will prioritize educators starting March 9, Elizabeth Beyer, WSJ, March 5. One million Wisconsin residents have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, state builds network of vaccinators, Mitchell Schmidt, WSJ, March 5; More COVID-19 variant cases reported in Wisconsin as vaccine supply grows, David Wahlberg, WSJ, March 5. Wisconsin's Deputy Health Secretary warns against COVID fatigue, Erik Gunn, Wisconsin Examiner, March 5.

Madison Commons Media Digest, February 28, 2021


Supply shortage delays COVID-19 vaccination clinics for teachers in Dane County, Chris Rickert, Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 26. As UW-Health reschedules COVID-19 vaccine shots, state adds groups eligible, David Wahlberg, WSJ, Feb. 26. Wisconsinites with chronic medical conditions feel left behind in vaccine distribution, Madalyn O'Neill, Channel3000, Feb.

Madison Commons, Media Digest February 21, 2021


Teachers to get priority for COVID-19 vaccine, Dane County public health department says, Chris Rickert, Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 20. Wisconsin's 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate lowest since June, Shelby Evans, Channel3000, Feb. 20. Worrisome COVID-19 variant found in Dane County, David Wahlberg, WSJ, Feb.

Early Dane County data shows racial disparity in COVID vaccines

Recent data from Public Health Madison & Dane County shows racial disparities for those that have received the COVID-19 vaccine so far, but health experts say this is likely reflective of the state’s limited eligible populations and that organizations across Dane County are working to achieve racial equity.

Madison Commons Media Digest, February 14, 2021

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Madison School District will reopen for in-person kindergarten March 9, phase in other grades, Scott Girard, Capital Times, Feb. 10. Superintendent Elections

Six state superintendent candidates speak at forum focused on Black and brown communities, Scott Girard, CT, Feb. 12; Deborah Kerr leads in state superintendent fundraising, spending, Scott Bauer, Associated Press, Feb. 11.

University neighbors welcome students back to town, despite COVID spread

Following a month-long break, UW-Madison students started a new semester on the 25th of January, with a mix of online and in-person classes. The University established new protocols for COVID-19 testing and tracking this semester, including a new app and guidelines for students to get tested twice a week. These safety measures are aimed not only at keeping students safe throughout the spring semester, but also to avoid a rapid spike in cases, similar to what happened at the beginning of the fall semester. While Dane County Executive Joe Parisi would rather see all instruction happening virtually, UW's neighbors don't mind students being back.

Amato seeks to leverage long history in Madison in Common Council race

At the beginning of 2020, Nino Amato had no intention of running for common council. After a successful career in the private sector, in which he held roles such as the CEO of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging and Health Groups, the Public Policy Chair for United Against Hate, as well as the President of the Madison Equal Commission- to name a few- Amato planned on stepping back, focusing on teaching, and taking time to be with his family. 

However, after seeing crime and racial disparities rise this summer, he decided to run for alderperson in Madison’s 9th District. 

Madison Commons Media Digest, February 7, 2021

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Doctors warn about frostbite, hypothermia risk over next seven days, Adam Duxter, Channel3000, Feb. 5. Covid-19

Many Wisconsin businesses likely to require masks regardless of statewide order, Shelley K. Mesch, Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 6. Wisconsin legislature approves first COVID-19 bill since April; Tony Evers vetoes it, Brianna Reilly, Capital Times, Feb.